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Mysterious objects wash up on New Zealand beaches

A 100-metre long pipe washed up in a bay of New Zealand’s South Island in mid-December of 2016.

It is a heavy black plastic pipe with metal loops on each end and was found on the southern beach of Te Waewae (pronounced Tee whe whe).

It was discovered by a local police officer and was subsequently reported to the appropriate local environmental officer. No one down in Southland knew what it was or where it could possibly have come from.



Location of Te Waewae Bay
Location of Te Waewae Bay

Photos of the mystery object quickly appeared on social media and ideas about its origins came pouring in from around the world. The owner of the pipe has recently come forward and has thanked Mr. Ron Wilson and Environment Southland for helping them find and identify their missing item. The owner is Huon Aquaculture, a salmon fishing farm based in Tasmania, Australia.

The black pipe is called a “Mamba Line” and is a long polyethylene pipe used to gather fish in pens.  The black pipe was lost in August and was unable to be found even after aerial and on-water searches. It has traveled a staggering 1600 km over the four months it has been missing, and Huon Aquaculture is very pleased to learn of its whereabouts.

They were quite concerned about the danger it might pose to fishing and boat traffic. To prevent such a loss in the future the company has changed their pipes from black to orange and have attached GPS trackers, Mail Online reported.

Muriwai Beach Photo Credit
Muriwai Beach Photo Credit

Only the week before, another mysterious object was found on another New Zealand beach – this time at the other end of New Zealand in the Auckland region.

It is not unusual for strange items to be washed up after storms on New Zealand beaches and this object has created another riot of speculation on social media about what it could be.

Strange object Photo Credit
Mysterious objects Photo Credit

Some of the more notable theories were that it could be an old Waka (Maori canoe), shipwreck, or piece of artwork. It is large and barnacle-encrusted, which suggests it has been in the ocean for quite a while.

Read another story from us: Shifting sands expose unseen ancient Petroglyphs on a Hawaii beach

Local experts believe that the object was a large piece of driftwood covered in a colony of gooseneck barnacles. The barnacles’ strange rubbery necks and white shell gives them their name. This barnacle is only found on floating driftwood and can be quite commonly found washed up on beaches around the world.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News